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Puppy-mill bill helps Ohio move forward

The so-called puppy-mill bill that took effect in Ohio on New Year’s Day is an important step for Ohio, which has long lagged most other states when it comes to regulating dog breeding.

It’s not as tough as it should be, though, and lawmakers should gauge its effectiveness and prepare to stiffen regulation if warranted.

It took more than half a dozen years of stop-and-go efforts in the General Assembly to pass legislation cracking down on inhumane “puppy mills” where dogs are routinely subjected to horrible conditions in what amount to factories to churn out puppies for sale…

The law for the first time establishes rules for “high-volume breeders” of dogs, defined as those who produce at least nine litters and 60 or more dogs in a calendar year….

Under the new law, breeders must undergo a background check, have proof of insurance or a surety bond and have an established relationship with a veterinarian to provide care.

The penalty for violators, though, is very light: They face fines of $100. That’s a fraction of what a breeder can fetch for just one puppy sold to an unsuspecting family who may later discover that the deplorable conditions their puppy came from have resulted in a dog with physical and behavioral problems.

Still, the law may help Ohio shed its reputation as one of the worst states for inhumane dog-breeding operations.


The Columbus Dispatch